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President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.

State of play for social-spending package: Expanding Medicare for dental and vision benefits, a priority for Sen. Bernie Sanders, is a "reach," Biden said, because "Manchin is opposed" ... Twelve weeks of paid family leave — whittled to four weeks ... Two years of free community college is now more Pell Grants: "I guarantee you, we're going to get free community college in the next several years."

Filibuster: Biden signaled openness to ending the Senate filibuster rule for voting rights legislation "and maybe more" issues.

Gas prices: "My guess is you’ll start to see gas prices come down ... in 2022. I don’t see anything that's going to happen in the meantime that's going to significantly reduce gas prices."

Taiwan: Biden punctured strategic ambiguity on coming to Taiwan's defense if China attacked: "Yes, we have a commitment to do that." A White House spokesperson told me: "The President was not announcing any change in our policy and there is no change in our policy." But Beijing will assume that's the real policy.

Go deeper: Biden on filibuster ... Biden on taxes ... Transcript.

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Go deeper

Biden extends mask mandates for travelers into 2022

President Biden speaks at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland on December 2. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Thursday announced new testing protocols for international travelers and extended masking requirements through March as the U.S. prepares to fight the Omicron variant this winter.

Driving the news: The U.S. will tighten pre-departure testing protocols starting early next week by requiring all inbound international travelers to take COVID-19 tests within one day of their departure rather than three.

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.